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Paul Allen Has Passed, But His Sporting Legacy Continues

Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen, who recently passed away, has entered multiple businesses including three successful American sports teams.

Paul Allen, the co-founder of technology giant Microsoft, has passed away earlier in Seattle weeks after his Non-Hodgkin lymphoma returned. He was 65.

The 44th richest billionaire ranked by Forbes has made his name in the computer industry, as well as in real estate, television and film production, and other business ventures. He is also a known philanthropist, with investments made on scientific research, educational facilities, and the like.

Allen’s legacy extends to the sporting arena as well. He owned and part-owned some of the biggest professional franchises in different American sports leagues. Below are the three teams under Allen’s ownership.

Portland Trailblazers

In 1988, Allen purchased the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Portland Trailblazers from then-majority owner Larry Weinberg for US$70 million dollars. He was 35 back then, making him the youngest team owner in any of the four biggest American sports.

Weinberg shared that Allen “committed to keeping the franchise in this area,” which was what the late owner did. In 2007, Allen purchased the Trailblazers’ home court, the Rose Garden—now called Moda Center—located in Oregon. Under Allen’s reign, the Trailblazers have reached the NBA Playoffs 19 times, booking a ticket to the NBA Finals in his early years in 1990 and 1992.

However, for the upcoming NBA season following Allen’s passing, the Oregon-based team is not expected to reach even the NBA Playoffs. As of October 16, online sportsbooks like bet365, William Hill, and betway priced the odds of a Trailblazers Western Conference win at 55/1, 50/1, and 50/1, respectively.

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Seattle Seahawks

Around the time when former Seattle Seahawks owner Ken Behring moved the Washington team’s operations to Anaheim, Seattle-born Allen purchased the National Football League (NFL) franchise for US$200 million in 1997.

In more than two decades under the helm of Allen, the Seahawks reached the postseason 12 times and the Super Bowl thrice. They won only one title in 2013 at Super Bowl XLVIII, defeating the Denver Broncos 43-8.

At the ongoing NFL season, the Seahawks currently stands second at the National Football Conference (NFC) West with a 3-3-0 record. Their odds of winning the NFC, let alone the Super Bowl, do not look good either. At the moment, Unibet and bet365 both offer 33/1 for a Seahawks conference win, while William Hill priced the team at 40/1.

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Seattle Sounders

Compared with the two teams above, Allen is only a minority owner of this Major League Soccer (MLS) club. The ownership group—composed of Allen, Drew Carey, Joe Roth, and now-majority owner Adrian Hanauer—won the expansion bid to enter the American top flight for US$30 million in 2007. The Sounders, together with the Seahawks, play at the CenturyLink Field owned by Allen’s company.

Since 2009, the Sounders have won the MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield once, and the US Open Cup four times. With only three matches to go in the 2018 MLS season, the Sounders are fifth in the Western Conference with 50 points, five points above the last playoff spot.

According to Sportsbet.io, the Sounders are only the seventh favorite to lift the MLS Cup with the odds of 15.00.

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